High energy prices mean that many people are likely to need extra support.

This guide is here to help you know what financial support is available and what other organisations may be able to help.

If you are worried you can’t pay your bill

Contact your energy supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your energy bills or think you won’t be able to afford them. Your supplier must take into account your circumstances and situation and offer help.

Your supplier must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford based on what is called your ‘ability to pay’. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.

You can ask for:

• a review of your payments and debt repayments

• payment breaks (if available) or reductions

• more time to pay

• access to hardship funds if available

Many energy suppliers offer specific grants from which they may be able to support customers in arrears.

Help from your energy supplier

Energy supplier grants

Large suppliers offer non-repayable grants to those experiencing financial difficulties to help pay for their energy bills.

Criteria varies by supplier, most will require you to speak to a debt advice service before applying.

Visit your supplier’s website listed below to see what may be available.

The British Gas hardship fund is available to anyone regardless of who your current supplier is.

British Gas Energy Trust http://www.britishgasenergytrust.org.uk/grants-available/
Scottish Power hardship fund https://community.scottishpower.co.uk/t5/Extra-Help/Hardship-Fund/ta-p/53
Ovo Energy Fund http://www.ovoenergy.com/help/debt-and-energy-assistance
E.ON Energy Fund http://www.eonnext.com/policies/extra-help
E.ON Next Energy
Fund http://www.eonnextenergyfund.com/
EDF Energy
Customer Support
Fund http://www.edfenergy.com/PSR
Octopus ‘Octo Assist
Fund’ https://octopus.energy/blog/struggling-to-pay/

British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust will consider applications for grants from anyone, regardless of who your energy supplier is.

They require you to seek professional money advice first and fund a number of local advice centres across England, Scotland and Wales which specialise in this, or you can try one of the charities in the ‘debt charities’ section

<aside> 💡 Further information and the online application form is available from British Gas


<aside> 📢 The British Gas Energy Trust will consider applications from anyone, regardless of who your energy supplier is


Making your home warmer

Reducing heating loss from your home will help bring bills down and make your home warmer. You could save hundreds of pounds on your energy bills by following simple energy saving hacks.

<aside> 💡 Find out more on the Nous website here or go energysavingtrust.org.uk


Help keeping your home warm

Those on certain benefits may be eligible for help with energy saving improvements to your home.

You may get help with the cost of:

<aside> 💡 Information about grants to help to heat your home can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/collections/find-energy-grants-for-you-home-help-to-heat


Government Financial Support

Household Support Fund

Local authorities have been given £1.5bn funding to help those most in need, via the Household Support Fund and you don’t need to be on benefits to receive help.

<aside> 💡 You can contact your local authority to see if you are eligible.


If you live in Wales

Discretionary Assistance Fund

You may be eligible for a grant from this fund if you are in hardship and need help to pay for essential costs. Further information is available at www.gov.wales/discretionaryassistance-fund-daf

Further support available

Households most in need may be eligible for further support, including:

Warm Home Discount - England and Wales

You may be able to get £150 off your energy bill (or added to your meter) if you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit.

You may also be eligible if you’re on a low income and live in a property with a high energy cost score.

While most customers will be with a participating supplier, some suppliers are not required by Government to offer the Warm Home Discount.

You no longer need to apply to your energy supplier for the Warm Home Discount.

<aside> 💡 Further information on the Warm Home Discount is available here www.ofgem.gov.uk/publications/faqs-warm-home-discount-scheme


<aside> 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 For information that applies to Scotland, visit


Winter Fuel Payment

If you were born on or before 25 September 1957 you could be eligible to receive a £100 to £300 benefit called the Winter Fuel Payment. If you’re eligible, you’ll get a letter in October or November saying how much you’re entitled to.

Cold Weather Payment (England and Wales)

A Cold Weather Payment is a £25 payment for every week when the average temperature for a postcode area is recorded as, or forecast to be, zero or below, between November and March.

You may get Cold Weather Payments if you’re getting:

<aside> 💡 You do not need to apply as you’ll be paid it automatically. Further information is available at www.gov.uk/cold-weather-payment.


Financial support for prepayment meter customers

Bespoke support is available for customers with prepayment meters in addition to what is available for other customers. Support can often depend on your individual circumstances, so it’s important to contact your energy supplier as soon as you can if you are worried about paying your energy bills or think you won’t be able to afford them.

If you are in a vulnerable situation, also see section 2 on the Priority Services Register

Fuel Vouchers

If you can’t afford to top up your prepayment meter, you can ask your local council or a food bank for a fuel voucher. This is a code given to you in a letter, text message or email, which you can use at a PayPoint shop, Payzone shop or Post Office to add credit to your gas card or electricity key.

Support from your Local Authority

Your local council may be able to offer support if you cannot top up your prepayment meter. They may be able to help you access fuel vouchers, crisis loans and grants to help you top up your gas or electricity meter.

You can contact your local authority via www.gov.uk/find-local-council.

What non-financial advice and support is available?

Priority Services Register

The Priority Services Register is a free service to help people who may need additional support. Your energy supplier and network operator offer it - you need to contact them to be put on it or update your details.

You are eligible if you:

You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.

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